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William Kempe was one of the most famous clowns of the Elizabethan era and originated some of Shakespeare's comedic characters.
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William Kempe originated several of Shakespeare's best-known characters, including Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing and Peter in Romeo and Juliet. His name, however, disappears from the lists of the company in 1599, and it has been speculated that his penchant for improvising and his earthy jigs may not have appealed to the more refined audience the company was trying to cultivate.
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We may all think we're comedians, but sadly, we're not. Good thing there are so many truly funny people out there to make us laugh. Some comedians use their wit and smarts to make clever jokes and poke fun, while others use their physicality and appearance to to keep us doubled over. Formats range from stand up comedy and sketch comedy to talk shows, and subjects include politics, everyday life, and the comedians themselves. Here's a look at the famous comedians who've kept us laughing over the years.
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